Published on June 12 2009
Gordon Received Penalty for Fueling on Highway
#77 Robby Gordon issued a press release today stating that his stationary pit
near race mile 290 at the recent Baja 500 was in compliance with SCORE rules.
SCORE has NOT called into question the legality of the stationary pit. However, the manner in which the race vehicle was actually serviced is clearly illegal.
Highway 1 is the major north/south highway on the Baja Peninsula. The highway is not closed during the race, but remains open to local traffic. SCORE receives permission from the Mexican Federal Highway Police to incorporate transitional highway sections into the race course. This permission is subject to a 60 MPH speed limit, as well as safe and prudent conduct by racers while running on the various highway sections.
Video of the incident shows that Gordon came to a complete stop directly in the middle of the northbound lane of the highway and members of his pit crew ran onto the highway and fueled his race vehicle with a portable fuel container and performed visual checks.
For obvious reasons, this type of behavior is completely unacceptable. Needless to say, it creates a very dangerous situation to have pit crew members running around with fuel on the public highway servicing a race vehicle that has stopped in the middle of the highway lane.
The highway in the area was the actual race course and it is illegal under SCORE rules to make a pit stop on the race course. All pitting should have occurred in Gordon's legal fixed stationary pit, which was apparently a mere 50 feet away.
We wonder how NASCAR would respond if Robby stopped on the track during a race at the California Speedway and his crew ran onto the track to service his race vehicle?
Aside from the serious potential safety consequences, this type of behavior also aggravates SCORE's relationship with the Mexican Federal Highway Police.
Video of the incident can be viewed at:
YouTube - Robby Gordon baja 500 fuel splash